Doug Robinson: The single biggest challenge for the Utes in the Pac-12

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  • JinSoCal sandy, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 1:47 p.m.

    And there you have it. Still not only winless against teams with a winning record, but winless against teams with a losing record against lower division teams as well!! Even my trojans will be drooling about one guaranteed win against the Utes.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 14, 2013 5:14 p.m.

    Mcallen, TX

    Utes couldn't compete in the WAC.

    Now the PAC 12?


    What? We jumped from the WAC to the PAC-12?

    Try keeping up, Utah played over a decade in the MWC. Take your time to learn about the history that Utah made during our tenure as one of the top 2 teams in that conference.

  • TroyTown Anaheim, CA
    Sept. 14, 2013 12:20 p.m.

    The single biggest challenge for the Utes in the Pac-12:

    Beating Colorado to stay out of the PAC basement.

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 12:05 p.m.


    Not even close.

    In 1984, BYU played a full 13-game D-1 schedule and finished 13-0.

    In 1944, Utah only played 6 legitimate basketball teams, ALL composed ENTIRELY of freshmen and a few sophomores, and finished 6-1.

    Utah's complete list of college basketball teams played in 1944:

    Regular Season
    W Idaho State 54-43
    W @Colorado College 48-34
    W @Idaho State 52-40

    L Kentucky 38-46

    W Missouri 45-35
    W Iowa State 40-31
    W Dartmouth 42-40 (OT)

    The Helms Foundation, the ONLY neutral national organization of the day to select national champions, named Army(15-0) in 1944 and Holy Cross(27-3) in 1947 as national champions.

    It's a provable fact; in 1944, after the vast majority of college basketball programs had been suspended because of World War II, the Utes won the most watered-down NCAA tournament in history, NOT, a national championship.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 14, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    Utes couldn't compete in the WAC.

    Now the PAC 12?

    It's to add wins for the others to qualify for bowl games. It's just that simple.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 14, 2013 1:01 a.m.

    @Marked it Down

    And the Utes won the most watered-down NCAA tournament in history in 1944, NOT, a national championship. You don't win a national championship by winning the 2nd rate tournament of the day, after losing in the opening round of the premier tournament.



  • UtesBy5 Syracuse, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 12:52 a.m.

    @Marked It Down:

    "And the Utes won the most watered-down NCAA tournament in history in 1944, NOT, a national championship. You don't win a national championship by winning the 2nd rate tournament of the day, after losing in the opening round of the premier tournament."

    So since you are an expert on national championships, please answer this question. If Utah's 1944 NCAA basketball championship wasn't the National Championship, was their 1947 NIT Championship win over Kentucky the National Championship? You can't have it both ways! Answer, in 1944 Utah won the National Championship.

    Speaking of watered-down, BYU's win over 6-6 Michigan, the 7th place team from the BIG 10 in a mid-tiered, pre Christmas bowl game seems to fit the "watered-down" category quite nicely.

    The bottom line is, BYU has a national championship in football and Utah has a national championship in basketball. If you personally don't like 1944 then you can give us the national championship for our "premier tournament" NIT win over Kentucky, based on your knowledge of basketball in the 1940s.

  • Marked it Down Park City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 9:48 p.m.

    The Warrior Ute

    Besides the fact that skiing is a coed sport, it's also not a PAC 12 sport - the only FBS teams that compete in skiing are Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Wyoming.

    And the Utes won the most watered-down NCAA tournament in history in 1944, NOT, a national championship. You don't win a national championship by winning the 2nd rate tournament of the day, after losing in the opening round of the premier tournament.

  • DraperUteFan Draper, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 5:35 p.m.

    Ute fans, I love it when the Cougs come out in droves to rain on our PAC 12 parade. Let them. I'm a Ute for life and I love being in the PAC 12. There will be up and down years. Who cares, we play in a conference with great tradition and teams. I enjoy looking at my season tickets and seeing Oregon State, UCLA, Stanford, Arizona State, and Colorado on the schedule.

    The Utes will get to the Rose Bowl. It may not be this year or even 3 years from now, but we will get there, and it will be sweet and a fun fan experience when they do.

    Utah played in a Sugar Bowl and I was there. It was the sweetest football day of my life. Tell me Cougs, what is your equivalent...a win over Texas? The mythical NC over a 6-5 Michigan team?

    I'm thrilled to be a Ute, to be a member of the Pac 12 conference, and to play with some of the greatest traditions in college sports. It feels like it matters. Playing in the MWC no longer felt that way.

  • PAC 12 loves U Sandy, Utah
    Sept. 13, 2013 4:53 p.m.

    @ anti BCS

    "When was the last time Utah's men won a national championship in ANY PAC 12 sport?"

    Utah won National Championships in Men's Basketball and Skiing? The Pac-12 has already counted those National Championships as part of their 459 total National Championships. Where have you been?

    Stop your Y'ning now!

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 3:29 p.m.

    The biggest single challenge? Winning games!!!!

  • DontMUSSwUtah SLC, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 3:06 p.m.

    Mussing around-

    I voiced my opinion on the matter, and I don't believe I've ever ridiculed BYU's recruiting. I'm sorry if the mean ute fans made fun of your recruits though. That must have been really tough on you.

    No, I don't "beat my chest" every time we get a three-star recruit, but I do when those recruits beat yours on the field. My only question for you is if Utah beats BYU again, are we going to have another Virginia-type situation where BYU fans will all have some sort of pity party? I swear, you all have been more up-and-down than a bipolar teenage girl these past few weeks.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 3:04 p.m.


    You actually replied to my comment. I'm flattered. You can't change the fact that the Ute's recruiting is better than BYU's.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 2:53 p.m.


    Oh where have you been the past month? Hiding your head in the sand? Ever since the Pac 12 anouncement the Ute's recruiting has improved and the local papers have finally published reports about it this summer. I don't have to wish or imagine or wait for next week. It is a fact the Cougars can no longer hide from.

  • The Warrior Ute SANDY, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 2:27 p.m.

    Anti BCS,

    I guess Skiing and basketball dont count?

  • The Warrior Ute SANDY, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 2:24 p.m.

    Anti BCS,

    Perhaps you missed this, but the University of Utah is in fact a member of the PAC 12.

    Please try to keep up on current affairs.

  • Tomahawk Red North Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 2:23 p.m.


    Utah did not think this through before they jumped into the PAC 10.2.


    They didn't?

    -Millions upon millions more in revenue every single year
    -Better recruits
    -Better schedules with better attendance
    -Better national exposure
    -And a chance to get as far away as possible from that whiney school down south

    I'd say they didn't have much reason to think hard about that invite.

    Enjoy being a mid-major forever.


  • jdub1942 PROVO, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 2:19 p.m.

    Y fans,

    Who invited you? Seriously, and not just conferences, who invited you to put in your 2 cents here? The U owns the Y in football, end of story, not debatable, period, goodbye.

  • Tomahawk Red North Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 2:17 p.m.

    Springville, UT
    "In other words, how are the Utes supposed to use two- and three-star recruits to beat five-star recruits?"

    I've been asking this question for three years.


    Yet you clearly can't see well enough to ask that about your own team, which consistently gets worse recruits than Utah does.

    So judging by your "logic," BYU will NEVER EVER be a player in CFB.


    Bye now.

  • mussingaround Palo Alto, CA
    Sept. 13, 2013 1:43 p.m.


    "I think we'll be fine. Look at what 4 & 5 star recruits have done for Texas and USC lately."

    Duckhunter hit the nail on the head by pointing out the inconsistencies of Utah fans beating their chests about every 3-star athlete Utah signs, then ridiculing every 2-star athlete that BYU signs, then claiming that stars don't matter, then claiming that stars are only important when Utah's stars are greater than BYU's stars, then claiming that only Utah is capable of finding diamonds in the rough and coaching them up.

    The discordant narrative constantly playing on the hill is dizzying, especially when certain Utah fans chime in by whining about BYU fans pointing out the inconsistencies.

  • jeru0455 SALEM, OR
    Sept. 13, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    You don't just select "USC, because it's USC" unless you don't really know what you're doing. You select the coach that is going to develop you the best, or the school with the program that you're looking for. This article is short sighted and weak to say the best.

  • anti BCS Anaheim, CA
    Sept. 13, 2013 1:29 p.m.

    The Warrior Ute

    "Of course it's going to be tough competing in the PAC 12. That's why it's called the conference of champions."

    Unfortunately for U, the Utes aren't, and NEVER WILL BE, a contributor to the "conference of champions".

    When was the last time Utah's men won a national championship in ANY PAC 12 sport?

    The unfortunate answer to that question is...


  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 1:25 p.m.

    Here’s how Doug would have advised various U.S. Presidents throughout history:

    1860, President Lincoln: By no means start a war with the Southern States. Those boys are tough and you will never win. And do not build the transcontinental railroad. The distance is too far. You will never get it finished.

    1940, President Roosevelt: Do not go to war with Japan and Germany. We have one of the smallest militaries in the world and we cannot possibly compete with them. Their recruits are better trained than ours.

    1960, President Kennedy: Don’t go to the moon. We don’t have the engineers and scientists to pull it off. It is too difficult. Stay home and be happy with what we have. The people will not support you.

    1977, President Carter: Don’t launch Voyager I. It will take 37 years for it to leave the solar system. Do you realize how long that is?

    Thank you U of U President Pershing and AD Hill for believing that there are challenges that can be conquered. Go PAC 12. Go Utes!

  • UtesBy5 Syracuse, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 1:14 p.m.


    "LOL at your calls of hypocrisy. BYU fans are certainly not the hypocrites here, BYU fans are not the ones that get on here making claims that you have to get highly rated recruits to be any good, it is utah "fans" doing that."

    LOL! I was just reading posts from Y "fans" on a basketball article. Apparently basketball is exempt from your claims that BYU "fans" don't get caught up in comparing recruit ratings and rankings? Is in because BYU is currently getting higher recruits in basketball, while Utah is getting the higher recruits in football?

    Hypocrisy: The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform.

    Bottom line, fans are fans. It goes both ways.

    What I can't understand is why there are so many negative posts from BYU "fans" on U of U PAC-12 articles. I know the majority of fans from our state were disappointed when Utah was invited without BYU to the PAC-12. I was hoping BYU would be invited instead of Colorado but I understand the reasoning why they weren't. Move forward. Why not wish the best for all Utah programs?

  • DontMUSSwUtah SLC, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 12:45 p.m.

    I think we'll be fine. Look at what 4 & 5 star recruits have done for Texas and USC lately. Not to mention the disappointment that is Tennessee and Cal almost every year. I will take a good coach who can recruit players that play well within his scheme any day.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 12:15 p.m.

    @mormon ute

    LOL at your calls of hypocrisy. BYU fans are certainly not the hypocrites here, BYU fans are not the ones that get on here making claims that you have to get highly rated recruits to be any good, it is utah "fans" doing that. But for some reason utah "fans" exempt their own team from that requirement and claim that it is all about "developing" thier "diamonds in the rough" that for some reason only utahs coaches are capable of finding and developing. If anyone else signs an "under the radar" kid then he simply "is what he is" and has no hope of ever being any more than that.

    I know it causes you angst to have BYU fans point out and highlight the inconsistencies, if not downright hypocrisy, in the utah "fan" comments and mindset, but it is a lot of fun for the rest of us to point it out and then witness the angst filled replies.

  • UtesBy5 Syracuse, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 12:15 p.m.


    "I guarantee that it's only you and fellow Ute trolls who somehow feel that Utah "soundly beats" BYU when it comes to recruiting."

    BYU has averaged an 80.76 recruiting score over the past three seasons according to 247 Sports. This equates to a low 3 star athlete (80 thru 89 = 3 stars). Utah has averaged a little higher athlete with a 84.28 average over the same three year period which equates to a mid 3 star athlete. Not a lot of difference? 3.52 points per athlete seems to be quite a difference. That same gap added to Utah would rank the Utes second behind only USC's 92.93.

    Since most of the posts for this PAC-12 Utah article are from obsessed Cougar fans let me point out that the Utes have 17 players in the NFL compared to USU's 6 and BYU's 5. Apparently there is somewhat of a correlation between recruit rankings and talent.

    The key to being able to compete week after week against BCS talent is depth. The Utes coaching staff has made this a priority. QB depth hurt Utah during the first two PAC-12 seasons. The future is bright.


  • UtahMan08/12 South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    @ Tators

    While I agree that the assertion that Utah "soundly beats" BYU in recruiting may be a bit of an over statement, it is not entirely inaccurate. In fact, if you take the recruiting classes over the past five years of BYU and Utah an compare them side to side, it is clear that Utah is winning the recruitment battle. Here is how the last five recruiting classes stack up:

    Utah 44
    BYU 70

    Utah 28
    BYU 61

    Utah 37
    BYU 62

    Utah 32
    BYU 40

    Utah 44
    BYU 50

    It seems to me that you might be suffering from some of that "selective memory" you accuse others of. Perhaps you should save some of your indignation for a more genuine and legitimate subject. Or better yet, maybe you can save comments about BYU's recruiting for a BYU article.

  • Zona Zone Mesa, AZ
    Sept. 13, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    As an ASU fan and alum, let me chime in and say ASU should beat out Utah in most recruiting battles. I think visits to Tempe and Salt Lake would make Tempe the more appealing option to the vast majority of recruits. Why? Weather, location, entertainment (all four major sports and Mill Avenue) and all the pretty girls in Tempe. Our tradition is not as good as USC or UCLA's, but it's just as strong as Utah's. I know, I know. Two BCS bowls for Utah. ASU was within one drive of winning the national championship in the '97 Rose Bowl and you have to taken into consideration that Utah looked completely lifeless last year. So in the Pac-12 South, I think Utah is at best the fourth option for recruits. It's probably a better choice than Colorado, and it has an advantage over Tucson because, well, one visit to Tucson and most sensible people scramble away as quickly as possible.

  • The Warrior Ute SANDY, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    Of course it's going to be tough competing in the PAC 12. That's why it's called the conference of champions.

    Utah will have it's ups and downs and that's ok. Year in and year out they'll have a chance to play the best of the best and to play in great bowl games.

    Being invited to the PAC 12 was a dream come true and Im know Utah fits perfectly with the other programs. I love it! GO UTES!

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 11:16 a.m.

    @ Mormon Ute:

    I guarantee that it's only you and fellow Ute trolls who somehow feel that Utah "soundly beats" BYU when it comes to recruiting. There are recruits each and every year that both schools tried for that the other got. I've been following each announcement for quite awhile and know that to be an absolute fact. You win some and you lose some.
    Hard core fans on both sides sometimes get selective memories that sometimes causes them to forget about the ones that got away to the other school. That might be what you're currently suffering from.

    It's what the programs do with who they have that ultimately counts the most. You had the chance to see last week just how highly BYU can perform with their level of recruits. They got a lot of national attention for solidly taking out a national top 15 program. Only the Ute trolls keep trying to minimize that accomplishment. Perhaps what happens in 8 days will finally make believers out you.

    So until then, please save your feelings of irony and hypocrisy for a more genuine and legitimate subject.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Sept. 13, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    Does anyone else find it funny how desperately certain Ute fans cling to the 54-10 debacle? Yep; that was horrific for Y fans and no-doubt delightful for Ute fans. But if that's your freshest memory of any kind of meaningful success or your claim to athletic superiority, I'd say you need a hug. The glorious move to the PAC 10+(-2) is two years in the rearview mirror and you're still pounding your chests over an early 2011 blowout of an overrated, irrelelvant team of pasty, scripture-quoting, 0-2 star athletes that no major conference wants. Well . . congratulations? Is that the right thing to say? It doesn't feel right for some reason.

  • The Solution Las Cruces, NM
    Sept. 13, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    When the question was asked on the first page about how Utah can compete with Cali schools, I thought to myself, "Just keep on doing what you've been doing: get overlooked recruits and coach them into position." That is KW's strength in my opinion and why Utah sometimes puts together a great team. Sometimes they will struggle, but they will always be good, and sometimes great.

    The other thing that Utah can exploit is going to other states where kids are looking to get out to a big conference school, like Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, New Mexico, etc. Granted some of those places they will get the second tier, because the first tier is going to BYU (like idaho), but they could really exploit that.

    As an honest Coug fan, I believe Utah will be fine and one day compete well in the PAC. Once they do, they will get better recruits, but that is when it gets tricky trying to balance what works with new recruiting power.

    Utah will be fine, and my Cougs are fine!

  • Zorro Bakersfield, CA
    Sept. 13, 2013 10:54 a.m.

    Didn't I make this same argument a couple of weeks ago?

    The player Utah will get is the kid that wants to play in the PAC 12 but doesn't want to sit on the bench for 2 years waiting their turn. These will be mostly skill players.

    From a college football fan perspective, the state of Utah is in a great position to see all kinds of football. For the first time (maybe ever) we have 3 different conferences/affiliation to watch! Look at all the great teams coming into the state!

    Including: Texas, Georgia Tech, Boise State (2), Oregon St., UCLA, Stanford, AZ St., Colo. Colo. St., Hawaii & Wyo. Thats a pretty good group of games coming to the Wasatch front. We are indeed fortunate.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    Duckhunter and all you other Cougar fans: I find it ironic and somewhat hypocritical of you to jump on the bandwagon criticizing the Utes recruiting and saying they can't compete in the Pac 12 as a result while the Cougar faithful claim the goal of a national title while being soundly beaten by the Utes in recruiting. So if the Ute's recruiting is really so bad that we can't compete in the Pac 12, how do the Cougars ever hope to sniff a national title again with recruiting that is even lower grade?

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    @ ekute:

    Since the Utes are yet to win even a single conference game against an opponent with a winning record, your analogy to car racing would more closely resemble the Utes puttering around like a Studebaker in a lower gear while the faster cars in the race have starting lapping them.
    Until they can do that and at least start competing in the upper half of the conference (instead as a cellar contender each year), your comparison to "a top fuel dragster" is truly quite comical.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 10:31 a.m.

    Wow! The Cougars jumped on this as soon as they smelled blood. Let us take care of OSU Saturday and then we'll settle things on the field next week.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    This Cougar fan wishes the Utes the best of luck in the PAC-12.

    While the article points out a few keys to their recruiting (Poly kids, LDS kids, kids playing out of position in HS), it overlooked one big one--stability in the coaching staff.

    When there are 3-5 head coaches in the conference getting fired every year, Utah will set itself apart if it maintains stability in its coaching staff. Kids want to know who will be coaching them and look favorably on staffs that have been intact for a few years. Getting their OC situation stabilized will help.

    While Utah won't ever get the recruiting classes that go to the California school, I expect them to be in a PAC-12 championship game within the next five years. You only have to finish first in a 6 team division and with two of those team being habitually non-competitive its really only a four team division.

    As Utah showed in its first year, with favorable inter-Division scheduling (USC plays OR and Stanford, Utah does not), you can win the Division with a mediocre season.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    @ There You Go Again:

    And there you go again... making comparisons to BYU when this article is strictly about Utah.
    But since you started this "not once" stuff regarding whether Utah is worthy of it's conference membership, lets add one more...

    Not even once has Utah beaten a conference member with a winning record, since joining up. Not at home, not on the road. Ouch!

    @ Mister J:

    BYU is not living off of past accomplishments. That's strictly your take. In fact, they've been busy building new accomplishments on the national level with what they did to Texas last game, and continuing with what they will be doing to Utah next game. Stay tuned.

    Nobody should let Chris B read this article. He will be heartbroken to find out Utah has mostly picked over 2 and 3 star recruits, left over from the California schools who continue dominating the conference year in and year out. All this time, he's been bragging as if Utah has had the best in the land highest star recruits. Let's play nice and not burst his bubble.

  • Christine B. Hedgefog Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    ekute thinks the Utes are a top fuel dragster going 300 mph. Good one ek.

  • AZ Ute Scottsdale, AZ
    Sept. 13, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    Another reason Doug Robinson is my favorite DNews columnist. This entry sums up perfectly my very first thoughts upon hearing the U was joining the PAC-12. He is always spot on in his analysis and obviously does a lot of homework to back it up. The diamonds in the rough have to be Utah's focus - the Eric Weddles and Trevor Reillys of the world don't come around often, but they are out there and it takes a special recruiting talent to see beyond what is to what can be. Grateful we have those kinds of recruiters.

  • Big J Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    Interesting article but I think the whole premise is flawed. That being; “you can only win with 4 & 5 star recruits and the California schools get most of those recruits.” Utah has proven with two undefeated seasons and BYU with its recent upset win over Texas that this is false.

    There is so much talent coming out of high schools and much of it is undeveloped. Paul Kruger, Eric Weddle, and Ziggy Ansah come quickly to mind. There are many other Utes that now draw NFL pay checks who were not recruited by the USC’s of the world.

    For those jealous BYU fans, Utah has for the most part been competitive in Football the last two years even though that has not always meant wins. Being competitive means: “being in the games with a chance to win.” Utah is clearly improved this year at QB, O-Line and Line backing over last year’s team. Do I think Utah will run the table? No. They will have a nice season and will keep building to become one of the better teams in the PAC-12.
    Go Utes!

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    A great article that explains (indirectly) why BYU has hit its peak and would not do well in a major conference. While it is tough to compete with the California schools, Utah's recruiting HAS improved. As an independent, BYU's recruiting has not (if anything, it has dropped). BYU recruiting would not improve if they moved into a major conference. WAC/MWC/Indy BYU has always recruited the same kids.

    When the major conferences split Division One football, BYU will thrive after being left behind. They'll compete for lower division "national titles" year after year against teams like Boise State. ESPN doesn't air a lot of Division Two football games, but the Granite Flats HD truck will ride to the rescue!

  • Coach Biff Lehi, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    Fred Whittingham hit the nail on the head. The "star" system of recruits is hit and miss at best. He is completely correct in identifying how attitudes that an athlete possesses determines his success many times even though his talent level may be high. Jake Heaps is case in point. Yet so is Eric Weddle. Weddle was a two maybe three star recruit. He's now an All Pro. Jake? We'll see, but I'm not sure he will have the same impact in the NFL that Weddle has. I'm a die hard Coug, but I know that the Utes are well coached and will compete in the PAC 12. I think Utah has taken the same tack as BYU in recruiting good kids that maybe don't have the "stars" next their name but will work their tails off to become better players, Chris B's inanities notwithstanding.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    Haha utah will never compete. Not like us could. Byu would go to PAC and so totally dominate. We all ready win many awards for are recruiting and in PAC we would get anyone we want like always. Usc coaches would ask us how we do it.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    "a middle to bottom of the PAC team, which might occassionally have a break out year in the PAC,"

    You mean like everybody else in the conference not named Oregon or USC? UW was terrible 5 years ago, and now their program is looking pretty strong. WSU made Rose Bowl appearances in 1998 and 2003. Even Stanford was a joke until about 2008. Just because the Utes have had a rough entry into the PAC, it does not mean they are going to be that way forever. Plus, those "occasional" break-out seasons have the potential to be REALLY special. Far more so than anything Utah could have achieved during the MWC days, which is saying something.

    Nobody cheers for Utah because we're national titles contenders. Ute fans come to the games because we're proud of our university and of our state. Plus it's fun to see our team compete against some of the best teams in the country week in and week out. Negative comments from posters like Ute Busters completely miss the mark. Utah is not a whipping boy, it's a school trying to grow and take advantage of a great opportunity.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Sept. 13, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    Sad story. Brings an even brighter spot light to next Saturday.

  • ute alumni paradise, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    why the gloom? women's gymnastics rock! judging by their attendance (bigger than basketball) i'm not the only one that thinks so

  • nosaerfoecioveht NSL, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:53 a.m.


    "BYU has always had to deal with recruiting player that fit the BYU mold, but guess what, they won a NC"

    It was a long time ago when they were awarded the NC by beating the worst teams college football had to offer, and not playing one single good team. The rules have been drastically changed so something like could never happen again, because it was ridiculous.

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    Look at the bright side, utah football players will have plenty of down time to study for finals in December.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    @Play Nice,

    From the article: "The Utes’ recruiting program will continue much the same as always. Utah athletes are the Utes’ biggest recruiting priority, then comes California."

  • romeisn'tburning layton, ut
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    Did the Deseret News just recycle and article from the day Utah got an invite into the PAC? I'm pretty sure I have read this before and heard it before from every Y fan I know. The reality is that Utah can recruit and compete with any team in the conference. Travis Wilson had offers from Zona State, UCLA, and Washington. Hiva Lutui had offers from Michigan, Texas A&M, USC. Utah has and will continue to be successful in its recruiting. Those are just a couple examples. Please keep in mind that these recruit rating websites are incapable of analyzing a potential recruits work ethic and personality traits. In addition K Whitt and Utah have built a national reputation for taking 2 star or walk on players and turning them into first round draft picks and NFL pro bowlers. Pita Tonga saw the light.

  • Ironman SANTA CLARA, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    @ There You Go Again

    This article is about Utah competing in the PAC 10.2. Try to stay on point with your comments.

  • Ironman SANTA CLARA, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:18 a.m.

    Another factor to consider is that Utah does not have the warm winter climate that most of the blue-chippers favor. They would rather walk around campus in shorts and flip-flops than trudge through the snow and endure the bitter cold and the delightful temperature inversions that The Hill has to offer.

    Utah did not think this through before they jumped into the PAC 10.2. The big boys in the conference invited Utah and Colorado so that they would have enough teams for a conference championship game so that they could try to compete with the SEC. Utah took the bait, and now they will be perennial bottom dwellers.

    But, they are in the PAC 10.2!

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    I agree with Robbie - the utes will always be bottom feeders of the Pac-12.

  • uteBusters Park City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 7:54 a.m.

    "The single biggest challenge for the Utes in the Pac-12..."

    Misguided arrogance and being a small fish in a big pond.

    Utah fans talked tough when the Utes were invited to the PAC, claiming that the Utes could compete with anybody and would be playing for PAC championships, Rose Bowls, and national championships right off the bat.

    Now that two straight conference losing seasons have slapped them in the face with reality, they've been forced to resort to whiny excuses for being right where BYU fans said they'd be from the beginning - a middle to bottom of the PAC team, which might occassionally have a break out year in the PAC, but for the most part would be nothing more than a middle-of-the-PAC whipping boy for the big boys of the conference to pad their conference records.

    The Utes couldn't even claim a gift-wrapped PAC south when USC was ineligible and the other teams in the division finished below .500. That window of opportunity is now closed as Washington State and Colorado are both improving and the Utes won't even have those two fellow bottom dwellers as gimmies.

  • Play Nice Herriman, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 7:54 a.m.

    Utah's approach to winning is a sad quest. As a representative of Utah the number one priority should be players from Utah. If that is not the case then change the name of the university to University of California Utah campus.

  • YGuy Lehi, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 7:50 a.m.

    Congratulations to the dnews on writing an article about the University of Utah without the seemingly obligatory, " for BYU..." part. It's an article about the U. It doesn't need to talk about BYU, and miraculously, it doesn't. I didn't think that was possible. Good job, Robinson.

    Now if you could just get your headline folks to read the article before they write the article...

  • BlameItOnTheOfficials Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 7:13 a.m.

    awww come on guys. Why all the doom and gloom? So what if the we have a difficult time recruiting? We'll have some decent teams and have decent records scattered throughout the years.

    In the meantime, think of the additional money that will be coming in because of the PAC12. Wouldn't you be willing to give up a few wins for a few million extra every year? I hear the administration is thinking of changing our colors from the traditional red and white to Green and black in honor of the extra Dinero's being banked.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 2:15 a.m.

    Would you rather watch a top fuel dragster trying to go 300 mph in the quarter mile and fail to hit the mark or a VW trying to 65 mph and hit the mark every time.

    Then the fans of the VW proclaim "We're better because we hit our mark every time."

    Not to mention what happens when they go head to head.

    Go Utes! If we go 130 mph it's less then half way to our goal but it's still twice as good as what the VW did.

  • Hey Baby Franklin, IN
    Sept. 13, 2013 1:45 a.m.

    You know what is real funny to me? To watch BYU fans cycle around like they do...just like in 1984...they beat a few highly ranked teams early (who turned out to be bad teams by the end of the season) and then played whomever's, went undefeated and enjoyed a NC. When you only have a few good opponents each year and play them early, things like this can happen!

    Conversely, great programs like to play up! Example, using Cougie logic, why would Missouri leave the friendly confines of the BIG 12 to join the SEC? Think they will knock off LSU, Florida, Alabama anytime soon? Or will they simply become an elite program because they play these folks and SC, Georgia and others weekly? South Carolina is considered elite due to their strength of schedule and quality of play! Not because they win the Poinsetta Bowl against Hawaii every year!

    We seem to have different methods and different measuring sticks...

  • UtesBy5 Syracuse, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 12:37 a.m.


    I've had season tickets for 28 straight years and the majority of the people in my section have been their 20+ years. Your reference to Utah "fans" is typically erroneous.

    The University of Utah knew as they entered the PAC-12 that overall depth would be the biggest problem competing week after week with BCS teams. Depth at each position is improving but it takes several recruiting classes to address.

    FYI, 247 Sports average recruit score for the past three seasons (2011 - 2013):

    1. USC 92.93
    2. Stanford 88.51
    3. Oregon 87.71
    4. UCLA 86.89
    5. Cal 86.51
    6. Washington 85.31
    7. Utah 84.28
    8. Arizona St. 83.50
    9. Oregon St. 83.22
    10. Colorado 82.15
    11. Arizona 82.02
    12. Washington St. 80.28

    Other schools of interest and where they would place in the PAC-12:
    BYU 80.76 (11th)
    USU 75.06 (12th)
    Notre Dame 88.18 (3rd)
    Alabama 91.94 (2nd)
    Texas 91.21 (2nd)
    Boise St. 82.06 (10th)

    Utah is currently in the middle of the PAC-12 but could improve their position with a couple of strong recruiting classes.

    Go Utes!

  • Roger Jolly Maricopa, AZ
    Sept. 13, 2013 12:06 a.m.

    Go UTES!

  • Roger Jolly Maricopa, AZ
    Sept. 12, 2013 11:58 p.m.

    TCU lost to Texas Tech... playing in a Power Conference is tough, eh Sammyg. But what would you know, your team is second tier. Can't even beat a bottom feeder Pac team.

  • Roger Jolly Maricopa, AZ
    Sept. 12, 2013 11:52 p.m.

    Virginia got destroyed... Texas isn't that good. Frauds!

  • Roger Jolly Maricopa, AZ
    Sept. 12, 2013 11:34 p.m.


    Since you like to be 'perplexed', will that team in Provo play in a BCS Bowl this year? Come on Sammyg... tell us! It's your teams last year!

  • Guam_Bomb BARRIGADA, GU
    Sept. 12, 2013 11:25 p.m.

    I think most Ute fans were realistic in there expectations coming into the PAC 12. Last year was disappointing. It certainly won't be the last disappointing season the Utes have. But they have some great years ahead of them too. Here's to hoping this year is one of them.

    That's the way college football works. After several years of mediocrity Stanford is a force, while UCLA ascends from the basement and USC falls off the cliff. What's exciting as a Ute fan during these first few years in the PAC 12 is watching the U define itself within the context of the PAC 12. I think Utah is well positioned to have several years of success.

    My main hope for this year is that Utah can do well so that coach Whit can establish some deeper roots at the U. I would love to see him pull a Tom Osbourne or LaVell Edwards and solidify the winning tradition that the Utes have fought hard for into a long term tradition of success.

  • ET Bass Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 12, 2013 11:06 p.m.

    I'm sorry to read this. I guess the utes are doomed. Maybe they would have been better to stay in the MWC.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 10:43 p.m.

    "In other words, how are the Utes supposed to use two- and three-star recruits to beat five-star recruits?"

    I've been asking this question for three years. Several of us knew all along that the Utes would not succeed in the conference as they said they would. It defies all logic.

    Since the Utes have yet to beat a PAC10.2 team with a winning record in their glorious conference I'm curious as to their answer to this perplexing question.


    Maybe the Utesies should watch that BYU film from last week?


  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 10:26 p.m.

    @ Stringer...No, I don't have any "frantic concern," as we defeated #15 Texas no problem. (Oh, that's right, Texas was crummy, according to U.) I also don't reduce myself to making fun of other's screen names, but I can see why you think it's a clever answer.

    @ Hey Baby...Your wish is granted. Having only won 7 of 18 conference games, U will sit home every bowl season. Enjoy. Every year, too....what a bonus....Home for the Holidays!

    @ Mister J...I didn't live in the past, unless you think referring to Utah joining the PAC 12 was "past history." Remember, they don't have 8 victories yet in the conference and this is the team that was going to play Oregon in the first year's championship game with a greased schedule but couldn't handle powerhouse Colorado in SLC with Norm Chow as OC. My, what a "Past" Utah has in the PAC 12, huh? Surely all Utes are proud beyond expression. That's ok; it likely won't improve anytime soon. They are Arizona wannabees.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 10:07 p.m.

    "...the prestige of belonging to the PAC 12... just saying that maybe they don't really merit being there..."

    Not once, in the past two years, has UTAH been destroyed, by 44 points, at home.

    Not once, in the past two years, have UTAH players quit, on themselves, while being whipped, by 44 points, at home.

    Not once, in the past two years, have UTAH players quit on each other, while being man-handled, by 44 points, at home.

    Not once, in the past two years, have UTAH players quit on their coaches, while being beat-down ,by 44 points, at home.

    Just saying...maybe the team that certainly does not merit being, in the PAC-12, is one that achieved all, of the above.

  • joseywales Park City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 10:03 p.m.

    I think MOST of us knew this going in didn't we? We knew it would be tough to recruit against the other schools, but that is part of the fun. Remember, we've had 2 undefeated seasons and 2 BCS bowl wins in the last 10 years, and that was with 3stars as well. It actually makes it more fun when you beat the 4-5 star teams. The Y just beat a Texas team that said they had the #1 and #2 high school running backs or something like that. You don't have to have a team of 5 star recruits to beat the teams that do. That's where coaching comes in. I'm ok staying on the "bandwagon" as I have since the 80's and will support the Utes win or lose. We all have our Ducks, Sammy's and Chris's, but most of us love and support our teams no matter what. Why is that so hard for some to understand. I love having fun with Y fans on here, but I respect them for their passion for their team. Most of us just like to tease one another, but some... well, you know.

  • DrUte Woods Cross, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 10:03 p.m.

    Components of a successful recruiting program might include a bit more than mentioned in the article.

    Yes it includes the ability to attract the large star recruits, but also:

    1. Program reputation, & hopefully Utah is on the rise.
    2. Available Playing time. No fun going to a USC or UCLA if you're sitting on the bench.
    3. Strength of Conference. Utah joining the PAC12 has been mentioned by several recent recruits as a decisive factor in their choice.
    4. Previous success in players being drafted, a la Star.
    5. Quality of the coaching staff & their previous success in launching players into the NFL.
    6. Family ties to a program / university.
    7. And stars do not always guarantee success, as BYU unfortunately experienced with Heaps.

    So yes Rivals stars are fun to see, but the large number of high school programs and the existence of "diamonds in the rough" still provide significant opportunity.

    And we know from Coach Whitt that recruitment is high priority.

    So recruiting is certainly a challenge for Utah, but recent success in, for example, QB recruitment is a positive sign a system is in place, and Utah's recruiters know how to work it.

  • Roger Jolly Maricopa, AZ
    Sept. 12, 2013 9:59 p.m.


    And as long as the Ute coaching staff can coach them 'up', Ute football will be alright.

    Good comment.

  • Guam_Bomb BARRIGADA, GU
    Sept. 12, 2013 9:32 p.m.

    The U is in the same position as Arizone, ASU and Washington, Washington State and Oregon State. They are a great place for a second tier recruit to go and make a name for himself.

    Look at Alex Smith. Second tier recruit out of High School, made the most out of his opportunities at Utah. Compare that to Jake Heaps, who was considered by some to be the best QB recruit his senior year.

    As long as Utah stays the course and remains a place where kids can get an opportunity to be successful at the next level, they will continue to attract the level of talent that can compete in the PAC 12.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 8:56 p.m.

    re: Ducky, toosmrt, & TJ

    Y live in the past its over? What is the point of bringing it up ad naseauam?

    Insecurity, perhaps?

    Do you really think Miami, CU, Notre Dame, Army, Ga Tech, OU, Clemson, etc... live off past accomplishments?

  • Hey Baby Franklin, IN
    Sept. 12, 2013 8:51 p.m.

    Duck...welcome back!!!

    It's good to have you pounding your chest again! We missed you after the UVA fiasco...

    Glad you're back...

    Utah will be just fine...glad were not a part of the no conference conference... Happy eternal San Diego poinsettia credit union San Diego will be yours forever...

    And yes, I would rather have a shot at the BIG BOWLS and when I suck, have to sit home.

  • Stringer Bell Henderson, NV
    Sept. 12, 2013 8:12 p.m.

    Notsosmart and duck

    Do you have the same frantic concern over the "no-star" recruiting of your school? You should.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 7:54 p.m.

    Ask Arizona how they have fared over the last couple decades in the PAC 12.

    This sounds a bit like buyer's remorse; we want in but now we can't compete; quite different from "We're going to the Rose Bowl." But then, the big California schools realize Utah brings nothing to the table (other than forming a 12-team league and even Colorado was invited ahead of Utah) but yet they must slice the pie such that the Utes get a share. The only schools happy Utah are in the league are the bottom feeders, like Washington State, Arizona and Colorado because now they can push Utah to the bottom or close to it. If you don't believe that, why were the Utes picked to finish 5th out of 6 in their division?

    I'm not saying the Utes don't thoroughly enjoy the prestige of belonging to the PAC 12, I'm just saying that maybe they don't really merit being there.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 7:48 p.m.

    Pretty bleak outlook if you take Robinson at his word, and I do. I doubt utah will ever be more than an occasional contender in the pac12. utah "fans" do not like that fact but it is never the less how it will be. Knowing that I wonder how long utah "fans" will pay close attention and actually attend games. Time is going to give us those answers but I doubt utah "fans" of the chris b, naval vet, or gored type will be paying much attention in a few years although they'll always wait for that occasional decent year to hop onto the bandwagon and pretend they never fell off.